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Swedes and German Among Foreigners Arrested for Aiding Illegal Immigration at Polish Border

  Foreign nationals including a German and two Swedes have been arrested for aiding attempts to enter Poland illegally as the country’s Bela...

 Foreign nationals including a German and two Swedes have been arrested for aiding attempts to enter Poland illegally as the country’s Belarus border crisis continues.

Poland’s Border Guard (Straż Graniczna) announced following a day of violence on the Polish-Belarusian frontier on November 8th that it had issued 85 decisions to expel people from Polish territory, detained 17 mostly Iraqi nations, and arrested six for for aiding illegal immigration, including two Ukrainians, one Uzbek, one Syrian, and a national apiece from fellow EU member-states Germany and Sweden.

The following day another nine people, identified as Lebanese, Iraqi, and Syrian, were detained, with decisions to expel another 48 issued, and three more people detained for aiding illegal immigration, including a Russian, a Lithuanian, and another Swede.

“We will not allow Poland to become a route for smugglers, for organized crime groups, for enemies of our country, for illegal migration,” vowed the country’s Minister of the Interior, Mariusz Kamiński, after Monday’s events.

Over 10,000 border guards, police officers, and soldiers including activated territorial reserves have been deployed to the thickly-wooded frontier with Belarus, a former Soviet Socialist Republic outside the European Union. The quasi-Stalinist nation is alleged to be flying in planeloads of migrants directly from the Middle East to the Belarusian capital of Minsk and then pushing them — sometimes at gunpoint — to the borders of EU member-states Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia as part of a destabilising “hybrid attack” on the bloc.

The Polish government alleges that Belarusian forces are directing the migrants at the border, and has shared footage that purports to show them opening fire to intimidate them and control their movements at the frontier on social media. Other remarkable footage released by Poland from the border has shown the force with which attacks on their border from Belarus are now being authored.

Minsk and Brussels are at odds over sanctions placed on Belarus by the EU for, among other things, the Belarusian air force’s effective hijacking of a passenger plane travelling from Greece to Lithuania, so a journalist critical of Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko could be arrested.

Lukashenko also has particular grievances with some of its neighbours for sheltering Belarusian opposition politicians and dissidents, including a female Olympian who was afraid to return to Belarus from Japan after criticising the government while she was there.

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